Buy Local

by Mary Covey

There is a huge movement happening in the food industry right now – “locally grown”,” locally operated”, “locally owned”. I hear and see these words constantly as I am food shopping. It is important to me to support my community by buying my groceries from a farmers market or fruit from a locally owned farm whenever possible. The grocery store and pharmacy where I shop are both local, employee owned businesses where they know me by my first name.

It is just as important for me to buy local when it comes to my quilting needs. Locally owned and operated quilt shops are vital to the quilter and the quilting community. Local shop owners are the backbone of the quilting community. Studies have shown that non-profit organizations (like our guilds, stitch groups, retreats, sewing for charities ) receive an average of 250% more support from smaller locally owned businesses than they do from large businesses.

Local quilt shops employ local quilters who have a knowledge and better understanding of products quilters use. They take more time to get to know the customers and their needs. If they do not carry a product, most are willing to order it for you if they can. If there is a class you are interested in most local shop owners will help accommodate your request (within reason of course). Fabrics, rulers, threads, needles, patterns, books, they have it all.

Local shop owners are selecting products not based on a national sales program, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers. Every local shop has its own unique style and personality. These shop owners have made a huge investment in our community, financially and emotionally. Their shops are more than just a place to buy. A sense of community, support, encouragement, and knowledge can all be found at these wonderful shops.

    Support your local quilt shop! Think local! Buy local!

 

 

 

 

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Defining Success

By Mary Covey

Defining Success

I believe I have been sewing all my life. As a child my grand mother taught me to thread a needle and sew on a button before I was six years old. With lots of trail and error, I taught myself how to use a sewing machine when I was seven. Over the years I worked at improving my skills so that I could make my own clothes.  A master seamstress named Minnie White let me come to her house every Saturday afternoon for a whole summer when I was twelve. She taught me how to measure, fit, and cut a pattern. Her motto was “always try to improve your skills and do your best” (the seam ripper and I became close friends). The suit I made over the course of that summer won a blue ribbon at the state fair.

When I wanted to learn to make a quilt, I took a class at Cotton Patch Fabrics in Tulsa, Oklahoma from Janette Metz, a master quilter. In Janette I saw that same patient spirit and willingness to share her knowledge that I had seen in Minnie. Again I heard the words “do your best” and “always try to improve”. The lessons Minnie and Janette gave became the foundation for all the work I have done since. There are others who have shared their knowledge with me – Betty Terrell, Nancy Mullman, Jane Green, Linda Jenkins, Becki Goldsmith, Ruth Faye, Ellen Medlock, Jane Lewis, Julie Scribner, Larry Black, Nancy Martin, Mary Green, Shirley Pittinger and the list could go on and on. All of these people took the time to share some of their knowledge with me. They are all successful women in my eyes.

Are you a teacher? Do you strive to improve your skills everyday for the benefit of your students?  Do you reach out to each of your students to help them improve? Do you take classes from experts to stay current in your field? Do your students feel like a success when they finish your class?

We have the ability to support and promote others to “do their best”. Kind words of encouragement can make a difference for all of us. We can all be successful if we reach out as often as possible to support and promote our students, friends, and family.

Scrappy Star Quilt with floral backing

Scrappy Star Quilt with floral backing

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Machine Quilting Tips (part 2)

5 Machine Quilting Tips

By Mary Covey

Have you ever been driving and think you hear a noise that just doesn’t sound right? Or maybe the brakes make a squeaking sound when you use them. To prevent worrying about those things, I always take my car in for regularly scheduled maintenance. The mechanic has a check list that he goes over with me that lets me know if anything needs to be done to the car. He will also let me know when the next maintenance appointment should be scheduled.  Just like any other mechanical thing your machine (long arm or home use) should be taken in for regular scheduled maintenance.

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Here are 5 Machine Quilting Tips to maintain your long arm or home use sewing machine:

  1. Check your owners manual to see how often your machine should have a check up.
  2. Find a maintenance shop that has guaranteed service with certified service repair men. The place where you bought your machine is a good place to start.
  3. Set up a schedule and stick to it even if you think there are no problems with the machine.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you do have your machine serviced.
  5. Always ask for a copy of the parts that were checked or replaced.

Finally, keep good records of service in case you do have a problem. Manufacturer’s warranty may depend on how well you have maintained your machine.

 

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Woo-Hoo!

By Mary Covey

I have been a quilter, author, and teacher for over 25 years. Over the course of those years, and because of my passion for teaching and sharing with students, I have attended a lot of conferences and classes. I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the best people in business. One question that I am always asked is “How did you start your business?” Trying to share this information on the go and in just a few sentences was always difficult.

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Recently, I was given the opportunity to develop a class that will be presented at Jenks Community Education. This is a Woo-Hoo moment for me. I will be able to share my experiences with others who want to have the freedom of owning their own business.

“Creativity to Cash – How to Start a Home Based Business” is the title of the class. The class will take you through the basic steps needed to start a home based business. We will explore ways to profit from your hobby, how to make a business plan, create visibility and branding, and organization. You can view information about the class and register at www.jenkscommunityed.com or call 918-298-0340.

#entreprenuer #smallbusiness #biztips

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